Paul and I met five years ago at a bar in Melbourne. Eight months after meeting each other we had planned a holiday to New York, LA and Las Vegas. We had the time of our lives and it was on that trip we knew one day we would marry each other.
Every year after that we travelled overseas together where we spent weeks enjoying food, history and culture. In March 2014 Paul took me out for a surprise dinner to The Atlantic for seafood. I didn’t think too much about it as we always went out for fancy dinners. After an abundance of seafood overlooking the night lights of Melbourne, the waiter came over to our table and said here is your dessert menu. As I opened the “menu” the first page looked like any normal restaurant menu until I flipped the page and saw a caption say “A snapshot of our life together” and photos of Paul and me in it. As I continued to turn page by page there was photos and stories about our life together so far. As I turned to Paul he looked me in the eyes and said “Will you marry me”? with the most exquisite Paul Bram ring I have ever seen. He did such a great job designing the most perfect ring for me. It’s safe to say there was lots of French champagne and lots of cheers as all the staff where in on it.. it was the perfect night!
It took us just over a year to plan our dream wedding. Both Paul and I are Greek so the wedding was never going to be tiny! We decided on a date in June 2015 so we could have a winter wedding and a summer honeymoon in Europe.
I had no idea what style of dress I wanted so I thought I would start trying on a few dresses and see how I felt in the different styles. I heard of the incredible designer Sonia from Cappellazzo Couture and decided to go and have a chat to her; the minute I walked into her studio in Camberwell, we started talking about different styles of wedding dresses and she began to sketch; when she showed me what she had drawn I was amazed. I fell in love with the design from that moment and I couldn’t wait for Sonia to start making my bespoke gown.
I was so excited so we made the appointments for the next six months; we also played around with the design and fabrics and I loved every minute of the process. Sonia used the most stunning imported delicate fabrics from France and Italy for my wedding dress and she made me feel like a princess every time I went in for my next fitting. I remember walking in to meet her for the first time and I said “I want my future husband to see me walk down the aisle and say WOW” – and he did! More than that, so did all our guests.
Our Greek Orthodox Ceremony was held at St John the Baptist in Lygon Street Carlton. I was a traditional 20 minutes late to the church accompanied by my Maid of Honour and nieces and nephews who stole the show!
After the ceremony and family photographs, Paul and I together with our bridal party headed in the city with our photographer, Dezine by Mauro, for photographs and a sneaky drink at Bond Melbourne before heading to the River Room at Crown to celebrate the night away.
We invited just over 200 guests and the venue was the perfect size. My theme for the reception was elegance; the River Room is already very beautiful with the most stunning views of Melbourne and the Crown Casino flames that light up the city every hour so there wasn’t much I had to do to the room to make it look pretty.
I asked Melbourne stylists Epifani Design and Events to set up a candy station for everyone to enjoy. I wanted our wedding to be fun and I think everyone had a great time filling up their boxes with candy.
The night was more than perfect with dancing and Paul’s speech, which blew everyone away with not a dry eye in the room. As well as my first dance with Paul, I danced the most breathtaking dance with my father and brother to a Greek song called “Our Princess”.
Once the night was over, we jetted off to Europe for a nine week honeymoon which included Dubai, Positano on the Amalfi Coast, Greece, Turkey and London. It was a trip of a lifetime for us both – and a wonderful way to celebrate our dream wedding day.
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Fanoula and Paul; your winter wedding celebrations set against the sparkling night sky were perfect!